Early season trends should come as red flags to fans, and on Wednesday night, the Wolves lost in a lopsided affair.
The Timberwolves started Wednesday’s game with great energy, opening up the contest on a 9-0 run, forcing Detroit to regroup. However, that was the only highlight from a truly awful contest for the Timberwolves.
With Jimmy Butler missing his second straight game due to illness, his absence could be felt. The Wolves couldn’t get a stop on defense all night, allowing another 40-point quarter in the second period — the second in as many nights.
The Wolves pulled within 16 points a few times and 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but the Pistons always seemed to find themselves a wide-open 3-pointer or two to ratchet their lead back up. This one was never really in doubt after the initial first half surge from the home team.
Just about all of the Pistons starters scored at will on this night, but the high-man was Tobias Harris with 34 points. For the second straight game, a team that many would have pegged as an inferior, decimated a Minnesota defense that remains in the cellar of the NBA.
There are a few red flags starting to rear their ugly heads early this season, and the most obvious one is a defense that at times looks like it’s actually regressed. Hopefully, Tom Thibodeau can make good on his quest to improve the defense before it’s too late.
Tweet of the Night
- The Timberwolves looked like a different team without Jimmy Butler for the second straight game.
- Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the defense is in dire need of improvement.
- The effort simply wasn’t there on either side of the ball — for the second night in a row.
- Sure, it was a bad game overall. But they need to put this one behind them and regroup for the Thunder at home on Friday.
Player of the Game
Tobias Harris: 34 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
We could have picked any number of Pistons players, but Harris (6-of-9 on 3-pointers) seemed to be the one that found himself with an open jumper, more often than not.
Notable Box Score Lines
Andrew Wiggins: 21 points (7-12 FG, 1-2 3P, 6-9 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 steals, one assist, 5 turnovers
Karl-Anthony Towns: 23 points (8-16 FG, 3-6 3P, 4-4 FT), 10 rebounds, one assist, one block, 3 turnovers
Jeff Teague: 18 points (8-14 FG, 2-3 3P), 6 assists, one steal, 3 turnovers
Who’s Up Next?
The Wolves return home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder for the second time in five days, this time at Target Center on Friday night. One would expect a solid crowd for a home game, on a Friday, against a good, divisional rival and the reigning MVP. But it will no doubt be a surly crowd after two consecutive losses with sub-par effort from Tom Thibodeau’s bunch.